Herb Spotlight: 3 Things to Know About Fenugreek (Plus, a Recipe)

Elizabeth Marglin

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016

Fenugreek has been used as a health-supporting herb for millennia, particularly in South Asia. Its impressive array of benefits has led to it becoming something of a crossover phenomenon in this country. Should you include it in your diet or supplement regimen?

Fenugreek Seeds Offer Healthy Benefits www.vitacost.com/blog

What are the benefits of fenugreek?

Historically, fenugreek was used for a variety of reasons, from supporting breastmilk production and women’s reproductive health to promoting healthy digestion and metabolism. Nowadays, one of its main claims to fame is its ability to help maintain blood sugar levels already within normal range. It also boasts antioxidant benefits.*

How is fenugreek consumed?

Fenugreek is available in tea, capsules, seed and extract form, so you can experiment with different methods of consumption. One caveat regarding fenugreek: the body does not absorb one of the key compounds in fenugreek, so it tends to pass through the body unchanged. This means that sweat, urine and breath can take on the pungent smell of fenugreek—many people compare to the smell of maple syrup.

What does fenugreek taste like?

Fenugreek also boasts an extreme versatility: it works both as a tasty spice (seeds) and pungent herb (leaves). The seeds have a slightly bitter taste, and are roasted and ground to flavor curries. The leaves from the plant (called methi) can be used in salads and other Indian-inspired dishes.

Ready to expand your fenugreek repertoire? Here’s a cooling recipe—great for spring and summer—that highlights fenugreek’s unique flavor profile.

Mango Raita with Fenugreek Seeds www.vitacost.com/blogMango Raita with Fenugreek Seeds


2 cups yogurt**
2 ripe mangoes, diced
1 tsp. mustard seeds
2 red chillies
¼ tsp. fenugreek seeds
1 Tbsp. ghee or oil
Optional: 2 Tbsp. sugar or sweetener of choice
Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


  1. In medium-sized bowl, mix together yogurt and sugar/sweetener. Stir in diced mangoes.
  2. In small frying plan, heat ghee or oil. Add mustard seeds and cook until they pop.Add red chilies and fenugreek seeds and fry for additional 30 seconds.
  3. Top yogurt with seed mixture. (Note: If you do not like the mustard seeds or fenugreek to be seen, strain ghee and discard seed. Stir the ghee into the yogurt mixture.
  4. Garnish with coriander leaves.

**Tip: For a fuller and creamier taste, it’s best to use full-cream yogurt.

Recipe courtesy of Dassana Amit

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.